Exhausted kayaker drowned in fast river

A STUDENT from Yorkshire drowned after her kayak capsized on the fast-flowing river Coe in Glencoe, Scotland, an inquest heard yesterday.

Emily Parker, 20, was with a group of Leeds University students when her kayak overturned in April and she was too exhausted to right it. Other kayakers had managed to roll their kayaks and surface but she was apparently too exhausted to continue.

Her body was only found snagged against a tree alongside the river after the waters had receded by five feet.

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After a coroner recorded an accidental death verdict, Emily's mother Diane Parker said: "If you have to lose a child in these circumstances at least she was doing something she was passionate about.

"No blame has been laid on anybody. It was an unfortunate accident and she didn't suffer. She was having such a wonderful week with people she enjoyed being around."

Miss Parker, who was in her final year of a psychology degree at Leeds University, was one of four kayakers who died within the space of a week in Scotland and Ireland.

She started kayaking when she was 12 and in 2009 paddled in Uganda and the French Alps. An Army cadet, she excelled at rifle shooting and was twice selected for the National Cadet Rifle championships at Bisley.

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The inquest heard Miss Parker, from Norton in Doncaster, was an experienced kayaker and was considered to be fully competent.

She and the other students decided to take a run down the river which was in spate. A witness described the water as the highest he had seen it in two or three years.

Doncaster's deputy coroner Fred Curtis said: "I believe that the young people saw the river as something of a challenge and I'm sure this was a challenge to Emily that day to go down this gorge.

"Sadly Emily rolled over quite a number of times. Eventually she reached a state of exhaustion and was too exhausted to roll over again in a river that was still in spate.

"It would be very sad if young people did not take risks but on this occasion the risk was considerable with this fast-flowing river."